Rio Olympics: Dalung Warns Against Use Of Drugs | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Rio Olympics: Dalung Warns Against Use Of Drugs

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 28:  Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria crosses the line to win gold in the Women's 100 metres final at Hampden Park during day five of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on July 28, 2014 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Posted: Jun 14, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Solomon Dalung, Minister for Youth and Sports, has warned officials and athletes against the use of performance enhancing drugs ahead of the Rio Olympics.
He gave the charge on Monday when he met with the coaches and secretaries of the five federations whose athletes are in camp in Abuja ahead of the Games.
He specifically charged the coaches to desist from influencing the athletes into taking performance enhancing drugs just because of the win at all cost syndrome.
“If we can’t bring medals, let us bring back our name. Doping is now a very serious offense internationally. It is very crucial to monitor athletes through constant visitation at the Games Village and working out a template for feeding to avoid Doping.”
Dalung also got tke support ofHabu Gumel, the Nigeria Olympic Committee President, against the use of drugs, as Gumel called on the athletes to shun the use of performance enhancing drugs.
“You are in a very good position to make the country proud by looking after your athletes and giving them the necessary training to ensure that you excel in Rio. You heard what is happening in Kenya, Russia and other countries and I’m happy to say that Nigeria is not involved in any of these scandals. You’re the ones to guide and monitor your athletes but don’t influence them and damage the image of the country because you want to win medals at all cost,” Gumel advised.
Dalung also called on the coaches to build on team spirit a head of the Games.
According to him, whatever success the federations would achieve at the Games would be determined by their contributions and commitments to the athletes.
“As members of the technical team, you’re the backbone of whatever results we may expect from our participation in the Olympics which will also be determined by your commitment. Despite financial challenges being experienced, we are doing our best to ensure that your basic needs are provided. Apart from giving the technical aspect of training, you also need to build psychological stability among the athletes in terms of trying to comfort, guarantee and encourage participation and training.
“I will also like you to embrace team spirit. Team spirit means that nobody can make it alone. You require the contribution of everybody. Nobody should be left out because it is the sum total of everybody’s contribution that brings about victory”.
In his response, Track and field coach Gabriel Okon called on the Minister to assist the Athletics Federation of Nigeria to send its athletes to the African Championships coming up in Durban South Africa in a fortnight.
“This competition is very important for us so that we can prepare very well for the Olympics. It will also give us the opportunity to have more qualifiers for the Olympics.” Okon pleaded.
The wrestling Coach, Damian Ohaike also confirmed the qualification of seven wrestlers for the Games. Ohaike said that other countries were now in competition stages outside their place of abode. He called on the Minister to facilitate a training/competition in Canada and Spain.
“These competitions are very important because these places are where athletes have already qualified. The world champions will be in those competitions . Their sparing partners no longer give them the challenge hence the need for them to attend competitions with those who will be at the Olympics” said Ohaike.
Dalung promised to raise funds to ensure that Nigerian athletes attend the African Championships in Durban and assured that if funds were made available, the wrestling team will also go for competitions abroad.
The minister also charged ministry officials to be more professional in their duties to stop the trend of Nigerian athletes adopting countries in Europe to represent them in sports.
The meeting was attended by coaches and secretaries of Athletics, Para athletics, wrestling, weightlifting and para powerlifting